Unsolicited email, much like unsolicited calls have a far lower rate of success than permission based emails. Targeting permission based customers can result in higher return on investment and can help business owners build, grow and retain a lucrative customer base.
Email marketing, when used effectively can actually strengthen relationships with the customer and build loyalty. However, permission based email is becoming an increasingly popular market and as in-boxes are filled with an influx of email it is still essential to get your email noticed in the crowd.
Solicited vs. Unsolicited Email
Unsolicited email is most frequently referred to as spam whereas permission based email is referred to as ‘opt-in’ email and allows businesses to target people who see the value offered by the content contained in your message. In all business practices it is important, although sometimes overlooked, to consider what the value being offered to the customer is at all times.
Spam email rarely—if ever—has any value to the customer and can alienate a customer base.
How to Target a Permission Based Audience
A customer’s contact information is valuable to a business owner, but when giving it away most customers don’t receive anything of value in return. Change that by offering the customer something: a newsletter, information on products or services, an email discount or coupon offer. By giving the customer something in exchange for their contact information you are demonstrating your value to them and showing the customer you respect them.
Don’t make the customer uncomfortable. Avoid asking for any information you don’t need. If you ask for additional personal information some customers may become uneasy or suspect you will use their information for something unsavory. This ultimately only hurts you, the business owner.
Don’t force people to subscribe to emails and/or make it difficult for them to change their minds and unsubscribe. Include a link or other outlet for people to unsubscribe to emails if they wish to do so. If they feel like you are forcing them to remain subscribed, the email then falls into the spam category and can hurt your businesses reputation.
Know your audience and target them specifically
For example if you own a Miami based web marketing or web design business, and want to build up a local clientele, your target audience will already have an interest or need in web marketing and design. Build relationships with these people by crafting an email or newsletter that ties into the local climate or offers something of value relating to the geographic area.
Even smaller local businesses can seriously benefit from a strategically planned email campaign. Although you may have an established business, if you maintain a solid web presence and grow your email campaign list with local customers your local reputation has the potential to increase and you increase your networking capabilities in the community where it often matters most.
Be organized. It’s critical to manage your contact list. You need to be able to respond to email and keep track of bounce-back and undelivered emails to keep your email list current as addresses change. Your email campaign will not be successful if you don’t respond to any feedback you receive or if you aren’t tracking analytics for the campaign. There are free tools available online to track analytics or even companies that you can hire to take care of analytics for you. You are best able to determine which would be most beneficial for your specific needs.
Send The Right Message
Sign up for competitors emails and see what they are doing, consider what makes you open an email—and what doesn’t—and utilize the most effective strategies in your own emails campaigns.
Before beginning an email campaign consider your approach and make sure the rest of your business is up to par before generating and maintaining your customer base; is your web design consistent with email design or updated? Are you comfortable with analytics to track success of both your website and email campaigns or, if necessary, have you hired a web design or marketing firm to polish your site and boost search engine optimization ratings and track analytics?
An email campaign is just one tool for a successful business model and used alone will not be a quick fix for a business suffering from decline.
Show Your Humanity
Your customers like to be reminded there is a real person behind a company and behind emails. Put a face and a name to your emails and keep the person composing them consistent. If customers feel connected to this individual it can lead to them feeling connected to your company as well.
Keep your emails short and to the point, but make them personal too. It can be beneficial to put someone in charge of the email campaign that is personable and friendly to connect with clients on a consistent level.
Additionally, try to write the way you would speak. For example, if you use a lot of jargon and business lingo this will alienate an average reader and they will start thinking your emails don’t apply to them. If you are able to capture a sincere and friendly tone that is more akin to advice from a friend or neighbor, the more your message will resonate.
- A conversational tone helps remind the customers that behind the email and business are real people.
- Personalized emails have a higher rate of success. At the very least always include the recipient’s name.
- Use a subject line that is attention grabbing, and avoid terms that can sound spammy. Consider choosing a relevant part of information from the email and putting it in the subject line to show recipients the potential value of the message.
- Ask recipients to forward your email to their friends and family if there was something in it they thought was particularly interesting. Make it easy for people to sign up to your email list to encourage new subscribers.
- Appeal to customers interests or ask what interests your customers. Target those interests with special offers, coupons or new services. Write about topics that are important to your customers. Are their questions or concerns that frequently come up for customers? Your emails can be a great way to address these concerns in a more personable way.
What can a successful email marketing campaign do for your business?
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